Monday, December 28, 2015

Nobody's Perfect

Only God is perfect in that He loves Himself as much as He can be loved; only the saints in Heaven are perfect in that they love God as much as they as creatures can love Him: their love always tends toward God "as much as it can." But Christ would not command us to be perfect if it were not possible to be perfect in this life in some sense: there are people in this world who are perfect because they follow Matthew 5:48 by cooperating with God's grace to remove everything (mortal sin) from their affections contrary to love, and everything that would prevent their "mind's affections from tending wholly to God," even though (excepting our Lord and our Lady and Sts. Joseph and John the Baptist{2}) their affections might not always in fact tend to God.

Notes & References
{1} St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, II:II, q. 184, art. 2, resp. <>.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Popes, Saints, and Scholars on Savonarola

Mirror link

Note: This post will hopefully be heavily updated before spring 2018.

"Every beast loveth its like: so also every man him that is nearest to himself" (Sirach 13:19). Why have so many saints loved Fra Girolamo Savonarola? Because Fra Girolamo is a saint, and will someday be infallibly declared such by holy Mother Church.

I wish you a very Merry Christmas. May God grant you and your family many more years to celebrate this sublime mystery together. Below I will present the statements of Popes (canonized or not), Saints/Blesseds/Venerables/Servants of God, and scholars on the Servant of God Girolamo Savonarola (1452-1498),{1} with citations of primary sources when possible, as is customary here. How else is the reader supposed to accept an attribution as genuine? Let this blog be a sanctuary from the poisoned well of spurious or specious quotations from the popes, saints, and Fathers, which would carry great authority if only they were independently verifiable by the reader.

As often as possible, I will demonstrate biases of these sources. E.g., "Catholic,""Orthodox who was a disciple of Savonarola but upon Savonarola's death left the Catholic Church and composed writings against her," "Lutheran," "Modernist tendencies," "lifelong disciple of Savonarola," etc.


Saturday, December 19, 2015

Calixtines (G. Bareille)

This is a very rough translation of the article "Calixtines" by G. Bareille in the 1905 Dictionnaire de théologie catholique 2:1364-1369 (Paris: Letouzey et Ané, 1905), pages 679-681 of the PDF <>. Holy Mother Church teaches in its Catechism, "1390 Since Christ is sacramentally present under each of the species, communion under the species of bread alone makes it possible to receive all the fruit of Eucharistic grace. For pastoral reasons this manner of receiving communion has been legitimately established as the most common form in the Latin rite. But 'the sign of communion is more complete when given under both kinds, since in that form the sign of the Eucharistic meal appears more clearly.'222 This is the usual form of receiving communion in the Eastern rites. 222General Instruction of the Roman Missal 240."  The Servant of God Fr. John A. S. A. Hardon, S.J. observed, "Not all Calixtines, however, were heretics. They could be Catholics who took advantage of the Church's concession to receive the chalice but also believed that Holy Communion under both forms was not necessary for salvation." In that sense, you or I could be considered Calixtines because of our habit of receiving the Most Precious Blood of Christ when we attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

To Bareille, who was Professor of Patrology at the Catholic University of Toulouse, Eternal Memory!

This name, taken from the Latin word calix, used to describe, among supporters of John Huss, who in the fifteenth century, reducing the minimum of their claims to four articles, vindicated especially the use of the chalice or communion under both species for the laity. Communion sub utraque was not unknown in Christian practice, see COMMUNION UNDER BOTH SPECIES [Vol. 3, col. ####; PDF ###-###], but the Church had long prohibited it because of its disadvantages. Huss himself, at least in its early days, had not thought to resume this use without the express consent of the Church. But some of his supporters, under the inspiration of Jacobel, vindicated the right to practice it. And the Council of Constance, faithful to the prescriptions of the past sages and suspecting moreover, not without reason, that this innovation masked some dogmatic error on the real presence, condemned in its thirteenth general session, June 15, 1415. [Gian Domenico] Mansi [Catholic], t . XXVII, col. 726-728 [PDF ###]; Hardouin, t. VIII, col. 380-382; [Karl Josef von] Hefele [Catholic], Histoire des conciles, French trans. Paris, 1876, t. X, p. 477-478. But neither the Archbishop of Prague or the king of Bohemia, Wenceslas could enforce the decree of the council. Jacobel composed a violent diatribe against the Fathers of Constance he called "the doctors of the use." And Huss, changing of attitude that prisoner, hastened to write to his disciple Haulick, who had replaced the flesh in Bethlehem, not oppose the use of the chalice, not to fight Jacobel, and his friend Christian to adjure Bohemian nobility of having to defend a use which the council had to ban contrary to the teaching of the Gospel and the primitive tradition. The execution of Huss, which occurred on the following July 6, aroused the indignation of supporters of the chalice and excited a bloody revolt in Bohemia. Despite the intervention of the Bishop of Leitomysl, who was powerless to avert the storm, the nobility sent a protest to the council, notifying its refusal to obey. The use of the chalice was maintained and widespread; it became a rallying sign, the symbol of Calixtines.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Savonarola: Heretic or Saint? (Gundolf Gieraths, O.P.)

A rough translation of Gundolf Gieraths, O.P., "3. Ketzer oder Heiliger?," Savonarola: Ketzer oder Heiliger? (Freiburg im Bresau: Herder, 1961), 39-59.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Jourdan Hurtaud, O.P.: "Lettres de Savonarole aux princes chrétiens pour la réunion d'un concile" (Translation)

Stay tuned for full translation. Critical commentary to follow.

Jourdan Hurtaud, O.P.: "Lettres de Savonarole aux princes chrétiens pour la réunion d'un concile," Revue Thomiste 7, no. 44 (1900), 631-674 <>. 

The Letters of Savonarola to the Christian Princes for the Assembly of a Council

The pages devoted by Louis Pastor (1) to the Florentine reformer and the fair or harsh responses it has attracted poses again, not only in the heart of Piagnoni who faithfully guard the fervent cult of his memory, but to the opinion of the Catholic world, the Savonarola question. For four centuries, the trial is debated and the cause is still pending. Our intention is not, here at least, to throw us in full scrimmage and enter the intense debates; we only want to draw attention to one of the parts of the trial, which, we believe, has not been interpreted so far as it should be, neither by the most resolute opponents of the Frate, nor even by his most convinced apologists. We refer to the Letters to Christian princes for the meeting of a council. These letters, in the plan, were to be five in number, addressed to the Emperor, the King of France, the King and Queen of Spain, the King of England, and King of Hungary. Only the first three have been preserved. We give here in its entirety the letter to the Emperor; from the other two we adduce the passages relating to the council. From comparing different the literal interpretation and theological doctrine they express or to which they refer become more obvious. (1) History of the Popes From the Close of the Middle Ages, vol. V and VI.  

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Tsarevich Dimitry of Uglich Died Accidentally

Boris Chorikov, Death of Tsarevich Dmitry

It seems most reasonable to conclude that Tsarevich Dimitry Ivanovich of Uglich (10/19/1582-5/15/1591), the youngest son of Tsar Ivan IV the Terrible, accidentally killed himself by stabbing himself with a knife during an epileptic fit.

Symeon the New Theologian on Filioque

Glory to God in the highest.

The pneumatological teaching of Symeon the New Theologian (949-1012) is not antithetical to Filioque.

See Jacques-Paul Migne, Patrologia Graeca 120:331-332, where Symeon says that the Holy Ghost "proceeds from the Father": "Deitas namque cum sit superessentialis, etiam et sola est immutabilis et invariabilis; estque tanquam mens, rationem et spiritum habens dicitrque Pater, Filii Pater (qui est quasi ratio) et productor Spiritus (2), quemadmodum item genitor rationis. Et cum Pater Deus nominator, simul cum Filio, ac Spiritu intelligitur. Quando demum Spiritus sanctus appellatur Deus, intelligitur eum ex Patre procedentem, etiam Filii spiritum esse, unione et discretion inexplicabili." The scholarly note (2) says that just as our Lord does not, in John 15:26, exclude the Filioque (cf. St. Augustine the Great, Homilies on John 99:6,8 and Against Maximus 2:14 [PL 42:770]), neither do Symeon's words exclude Filioque. Like some of the Church Fathers, Symeon simply makes the positive affirmation that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father, without making the Photian denial that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Son. Many Greek Fathers who made this simple affirmation also explicitly affirmed Filioque.

Jaroslav Pelikan is indefinite as to whether Symeon took the Catholic or Orthodox position on Filioque: "Although Simeon’s treatment of such dogmatic questions as the Filioque did not have a polemical tone and sometimes seemed rather confused, he demanded that the norm of teaching be 'the orthodox dogma of the apostolic and catholic church'" (The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine, Volume 2: The Spirit of Eastern Christendom (600-1700), Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1977, 256-257).

Symeon's feast is March 12 in the Orthodox churches (Hussey, J. M. "Symeon the New Theologian, Monk of the Studion." New Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 13, 2nd ed. Detroit: Gale, 2003. 671-672). Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI rightly referred to him as "holy," though I have yet to confirm some Catholic brothers' references (here, here, and here) of his presence on some Eastern Catholic calendars. Constantinople was in union with Rome during Symeon's life, as the reader will understand if he consults these writings:
(1) Martin Jugie, A.A., Le schisme byzantin; aperçu historique et Doctrinal (Paris: P. Lethielleux, 1941)
(2) Siméon Vailhe, "Constantinople, Église de," Dictionnaire de Théologie Catholique (Paris 1907), 3.2

I will do further research to see if any data contradicts this thesis, and to find any writings of Symeon that shed more light on his views on the procession of the Holy Ghost and on Rome. Constantinople was in union with Rome during Symeon's life, as the reader will understand if he consults the writings of Martin Jugie, A.A. and Simeon Vailhé. I will dig through Pelikan's work, the introductory notes in Migne, and the bibliography in Hussey's encyclopedia article, among other sources.